An item a lot of survivalists long for is an underground bunker. Having your own hole in the ground provides a lot of safety and security that the average above ground structure does not. For instance, underground bunkers can be concealed far more easily without the average passerby ever knowing they are there. It is also possible to better fortify and secure an underground bunker. Since there are no windows to break or garage doors to pop off the track to gain entry, it is that much safer to house yourself and your supplies within a bunker. Additionally, many natural disasters will not affect your bunker, leaving it in ruin, as a tornado might to an above ground structure.
Photo: Awesome Inventions
Although underground bunkers have a lot of good qualities to boast, they are not an acquisition that should be undertaken lightly. It is vital that underground bunkers be built properly and to spec in order to make them useful for the purpose intended rather than a danger to those seeking safety inside. There are many boxes to check when it comes to having a safe, secure bunker that will not fail you, such as those listed below.
Structural integrity is the number one concern when it comes to underground bunkers. Though it may seem simple enough to purchase a shell and sink it into the ground, examining it prior to installation is a must. All seams should be bonded tightly and securely. A seam with the potential to fail can be catastrophic because it can leak or even lead to a collapse that can harm or kill occupants. Since old Conex containers are a popular choice for a bunker, it is important to check rubber gaskets to ensure they are up to snuff and will not leak and to ensure there is no hidden rust that might lead to structural compromise and eventual collapse. Inspect fiberglass thoroughly as it is prone to cracking that can lead to premature failure underground.
With your overall structural reliability confirmed, it is time to focus on the door. Being able to come and go is an important part of any bunker as well something that can be compromised if great care is not taken to your entrance/exit setup. First of all, you want a door that is concealable so that it is not discovered. Second of all, you want to place your door in such a location that debris, such as a large tree, is less likely to fall atop it, crushing it or trapping you inside of your bunker. Next, you want to make sure that your door cannot be opened by unwelcome guests, regardless of the means they might implore, such as knocking it down or hooking it to a vehicle and yanking it away. The best door defense includes a sturdy door with a solid core as well as a steel frame and lag bolts to support it and hold it in pace. You also want to be able to pop out in defense of your bunker quickly and effectively should such a need arise.
Photo: Atlas Survival Shelters
Also important in your underground bunker is air. You're going to need air circulation in order to be able to breathe down there for extended periods of time. Additionally, temperature regulation is helped by airflow; without it, you could bake to death. Since bunkers are capable of holding heat, air circulation is mandatory to keep it from getting too hot. You also want to be able to get fresh air to breathe since CO2 accumulation can kill you quickly and silently as well as to move out any contaminants that may be present in the atmosphere. Installing this can be a big, costly job, and will need to be tailored to your specific bunker, so don't neglect to do your research and install something that will effectively get the job done.
Speaking of air and breathing, something do you not want to breathe in a confined space is a lingering odor of waste. Just like in any other living environment, the trash is still going to have to be taken out, be it food trash or human waste. Depending on your setup and budget, a septic system may be an option, but if not, you are still going to have to have a plan to get those materials out of your bunker on a regular basis or else your healthy and probably sanity will suffer. Since it may be impossible to leave your bunker for extended periods of time, easily moveable airtight containers may become a necessary part of the plan but don't forget to disinfect so germs are not spread between the times you are able to remove and empty such containers.
Although there are some concerns to be taken into consideration when building a bunker, it is very possible to establish a safe place to lay low underground. Depending on the type of setup you are looking at, it is possible to get in on a safe, secure bunker with a budget. On the flipside, if you have money to throw at an underground project you can include all kinds of creature comforts that will make you never want to leave. Just keep in mind that, whatever the case may be, there are still priorities you must consider when it comes to health and safety or else that luxurious bunker will be a bust.
Have you considered adding an underground bunker to your survival plans? Do you already have one? Tell us about it in the comments.